HealthDay News — The prevalence of diabetes is increasing and is projected to affect more than 1.31 billion people by 2050, according to a study published online in The Lancet.

Kanyin Liane Ong, PhD, from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues projected diabetes prevalence through 2050 using estimates of diabetes prevalence and burden from 1990 to 2021, computed in 204 countries and territories.

The researchers found 529 million people were living with diabetes worldwide in 2021, and the global age-standardized total diabetes prevalence was 6.1%. The highest age-standardized rates were seen in North Africa and the Middle East (9.3%) at the super-region level and in Oceania (12.3%) at the regional level. Nationally, the world’s highest age-specific prevalence of diabetes was in Qatar, at 76.1% among adults aged 75 to 79 years. Total diabetes prevalence mainly reflects type 2 diabetes, which accounted for 96% of diabetes cases and 95.4% of diabetes disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) worldwide in 2021. Of global type 2 diabetes DALYs, 52.2% were attributable to high body mass index (BMI) in 2021. Between 1990 and 2021, the contribution of high BMI to type 2 diabetes DALYs increased by 24.3%. More than 1.31 billion people are projected to have diabetes by 2050; 43.6% of 204 countries and territories will have an age-standardized rate greater than 10% by 2050.

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“Our estimates should also serve as a rallying call to galvanize increased research funding to identify and develop more effective measures to prevent diabetes,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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